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Comparative development in the Middle East
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CitationCoşgel, M., Yıldırım, S. (2018). Comparative development in the Middle East. XVIII World Economic History Congress (WEHC), 30 July - 3 August 2018, Boston, USA.
Whereas certain regions and countries in the Middle East are currently enjoying incomes that are among the highest in the world, others are in extreme poverty. Although much of this difference may be attributable to climate and natural resources, regions also differ in religious composition, political history, and economic institutions. The objective of this paper is to analyze the effects of factors that have caused differences in observed outcomes around the year 2000, prior to the Gulf War and subsequent events. The outcomes of interest are the standard measures of economic performance, such as incomes and population density. The analysis is conducted at two levels, namely geographic grids and sub-national administrative boundaries. We use GIS data to examine the effects of climate, terrain, location, natural resources, and various other geographic factors. Controlling for current national differences by country-level variables, we use a novel georeferenced dataset, called “Historical Polities Data,” to examine the effects of historical differences across subnational regions.